You knew I’d eventually find something like this, didn’t you?  Apps that track chores and payout rewards.  And you had to know I’d share it with you.  I apologize if you are not an app lover like I am.  I just get so darn excited when I have a new way to track and chart things, especially if it comes with cumulative reports and cool sound effects. 

I’m a mom geek.

Oh!  Speaking of mom geeks, that reminds me of a story.  We have time for a story, don’t we?

My mom has always been casually up-to-date on the trends I have been “into.”  When I was in high school she knew as much about MTV as I did. (Side note: I hope my kids never watch MTV.  It’s so very different from when it first came on.  Oh crap…there’s my age showing again.)  Anyhoo, Mom is awesome-cool, and was always able to recognize the songs of all the hair bands I liked even from two rooms away.  I loved that she “got” my kind of music.  I was not, however, a fan of rap so I nearly busted a gut when I saw my mom put her glass up to the fridge door for some ice, shimmy-shake her shoulders, bob her head and say, “Worrrrrrrrrd to ya muhtha!” 

She’s more hip than geek.  But still…

Oh yeah, the apps…

Chore Pad ($2.99 for iPhone) and Chore Pad HD ($4.99 for iPad) and Limited Trial Version (Free): Where was this app two years ago?!! Fully customizable chore charts for multiple kids.  Assigned chores have point or “star” values, and customizable rewards have corresponding values.  The overall theme is cartoon-ish, so the kids love it. Complete a chore, touch today’s square for that chore, and a big checkmark appears while the appropriate number of stars fly onto the chart.  My favorite part?  You can add extra stars for additional effort, and take stars away, regardless of a chore’s original star value. (So yes, you can have a negative star value!)  Chores can be arranged in any order, and can be assigned to any number of days in the week.  If a chore is not applicable for a certain day, like homework on Saturday, it’s just greyed out so no checkmark can be put in its Saturday square.  When enough stars are earned for a reward, a trophy shows up on the screen.  When the child is ready to cash in his or her stars, just hit “payout” and the star-bank resets itself accordingly.  I’m loving this.  “Hey, you emptied the dishwasher for me?  Three extra stars!!…Oh, is that your jacket laying on the floor of the entry hall?  Minus one star!…Wow, you’ve reached 50 stars already?  Do you want to have a friend come over, or do you want to keep working toward that iTunes card?”

Mama’s got it goin’ on!!

But don’t think for a minute that the kids are the only ones with chores around here.  Aren’t you starting to figure me out yet?  I have another app that is helping to keep ME on track: Home Routines ($4.99). This helps me keep track of all the little things I need to remember in a day, and allows me to assign different chores to each day of the week, focused on cleaning the house. (Bye-bye, Excel spreadsheet!!)  (( Yes, I’m that Type A!))  The app divides your house into zones (well, you divide as you see fit.  The app allows you 5-7 different zones, depending on whether you want to clean on weekends or not. Each day focuses on only one zone for cleaning.) It comes loaded with presets for rooms in a house and common tasks associated with each room.  But the rooms and the tasks are fully customizable.  I cracked up when I saw “Clean cobwebs from corners” as the first chore in every room.  You mean I’m supposed to be looking at the corners of the room??? 

Heh, heh, heh…DEE-LEET that task!!

Home Routines also allows you to set morning and evening routines, and comes preset with a “15-minute Focus Time” for meditation, which I desperately need.  They even included a 15-minute timer in the app – the idea being that if we just spend 15 minutes in the morning and evening focusing on certain routine items, we can free up our time, increase our productivity and decrease the clutter in our minds and in our homes.  I love that concept!  Oh, and so adults don’t feel left out of the fun, this app even has stars to click when each task is complete.  It also keeps a handy list of accomplishments for the day, so I can see just how productive I’ve been.  I set the app to gently remind me twice a day to check on my chore list. So, it’s not screaming all the things I forgot to do, and if I choose to ignore it the app simply resets itself the next morning with no hard feelings. 

Someone should pay me to write app reviews, don’t you think?  I rather like this. 

Worrrrrrrd to ya muhtha!!!